Here follows the full text of the royal speech:
Praise be to God May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
Today, we are proudly celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of the glorious Revolution of the King and the People, building on the values of sacrifice and national solidarity it embodies in order to sustain the legacy of the revolution in various fields.
Many Moroccans had not yet been born when the revolution against colonialism took place. However, they are now involved in another revolution, which I am spearheading with a view to developing human resources, achieving economic and social progress and promoting a dignified life for our citizens – an endeavor in which we are guided by the same spirit of sincere patriotism and close cohesion between the throne and the people.
This is an ongoing revolution which requires collective, wide-ranging mobilization as well as active involvement in development projects so that we may rise to current and future challenges and fulfill the legitimate aspirations of Moroccan citizens.
The Almighty has given each nation its fair share of wealth and resources and, thanks be to God, we have been given a constantly renewed source of wealth, namely our human resources, especially our ambitious young people, who are imbued with love for their homeland, who are well brought-up and who are proud of their time-honored traditions.
Indeed, Moroccans are known for their keenness to give their children a good upbringing, making sure they have good morals and are committed to the nation’s immutable values. In this mission, the family and the school complement each other, remaining open to the world around them.
I consider the loving care given to their offspring and the responsibilities parents live up to by instilling lofty ideals and values into their children to be among the most important factors of social advancement, and also the bedrock of comprehensive development.
As part of my commitment to make Moroccan citizens the central element of the development process and of public policies, I make sure schools get the means they need to carry out their role in terms of education and training.
I personally seek to ensure that basic infrastructure, such roads, drinking water, electricity, student and teacher accommodation units, is developed in all parts and regions of the Kingdom. These are essential facilities which supplement the work done in the education sector and enable education officials and teachers to discharge their lofty mission.
Many significant achievements have been made in the area of education and training, as indicated, in particular, by the increase in school enrolment rates, especially that of girls. We owe this to the commendable work carried out by the men and women involved in the education sector.
Nevertheless, we still have a long, arduous journey ahead of us if we are to enable this sector to actually play its role as an engine for the achievement of economic and social advancement. In this connection, we cannot but ask this pressing question: Why is it that so many of our young people cannot fulfill their legitimate professional, material and social aspirations?
The education sector is facing many difficulties and problems. They are mostly due to the adoption of some syllabi and curricula that do not tally with the requirements of the job market. Another reason has to do with the disruptions caused by changing the language of instruction from Arabic, at the primary and secondary levels, to some foreign languages, for the teaching of scientific and technical subjects in higher education. Accordingly, students must be provided with the necessary linguistic skills so that they may fully benefit from training courses.
It is gratifying to note, in this respect, the positive results achieved in the fields of vocational, handicraft and technical training.
Specialized two to four-year training courses are available in these areas, both to baccalaureate and non-baccalaureate holders, and those who graduate from these courses have more opportunities to find a job directly and quickly and start a professional career.
This is not the case for graduates of certain university courses, despite the staff and faculty members’ commendable efforts. Educational institutions which provide such courses should not be factories that produce unemployable graduates, particularly in certain obsolete subjects.
Training should be reinforced by making the most of a positive, distinctive feature of Moroccans, namely their natural open-mindedness and their desire to discover other cultures and to learn foreign languages.
Moroccans should, therefore, be encouraged to learn and master foreign languages, in addition to the official languages specified in the Constitution. They would thus expand their knowledge base, refine their skills and gain the competence needed to be able to work in Morocco’s new professions and areas of employment, in which there is a significant shortage of skilled workers, as is the case in the car industry, in call centers, in the aeronautic industry and in other areas.
In addition to attending to these new professions and services, as well as to the needs of management and engineering schools and colleges, further attention should be given to vocational training and to the rehabilitation of technical and manual work in general. We should make sure that these trades are properly mastered and that people are proud to be involved in them, especially as my ancestor Prophet Mohammed - peace and blessings be upon him - said: "No one has ever eaten a better food than that which he has obtained by working with his own hands". These trades are increasingly important in the Moroccan job market today; they provide a major source of income as well as a means for the achievement of a dignified life.
As a result, many Europeans are coming to Morocco to work in this promising sector, competing for jobs with Moroccan workers in these trades.
Considering the current state of the education and training sector, we need to pause, assess achievements and pinpoint shortcomings and inadequacies.
I wish to stress, in this respect, the importance of the National Charter for Education and Training, which was adopted through a broad-based national participatory approach.
Successive governments have all worked on the implementation of this charter, particularly the last one, which deployed all the necessary means and resources to implement the Emergency Programme. However, it only engaged in this process during the last three years of its mandate.
Unfortunately, the gains made since this programme’s implementation was started have not been consolidated. On the contrary, some of its basic components, namely aspects related to syllabus change, primary school curriculum and high schools of excellence, have been dropped, without consulting or coordinating with the parties concerned.
In view of the above, the current government should have capitalised on the positive experience gained in the field of education and training, especially as this is a crucial project that will span several decades.
It hardly makes sense for each government to come with a new plan every five years, and disregard previous programmes, particularly as no government will ever have the time, during a single mandate, to fully implement its project.
The education sector should, therefore, not be included in the sphere of purely political matters, nor should its management be subjected to outbidding tactics or party politics. Rather, it should be part of a cultural, economic and social approach aimed at training and preparing human resources who can be incorporated into a dynamic development process, through an efficient education system.
This frank diagnosis of the education and training system in our country, which is prompted by a keen sense of honesty and responsibility, and which may seem rather harsh, is that of a caring father who, like any father, loves his children deeply.
Admittedly, your Servant does not experience the same social or material difficulties as some segments of the population do, but we all, dear citizens, have the same concerns regarding our children’s education and face the same problems in connection with the education system, as our children pursue their studies in the same education system and follow the same syllabi.
What is important in this regard is not money, status or social class, but the conscience that guides every one of us, and his or her patriotism and keenness to serve the best interests of the nation.
When I was Crown Prince, I studied in the Moroccan state school system and later went to the Law School at the Mohammed V University.
It is true that the Royal College has means that regrettably not all state schools have. Nevertheless, generations of national executive staff have actually been trained through state school curricula.
I am indeed sad to note that the state of education is worse now than it was twenty years ago.
As a result, and in spite of their limited resources, a large number of families are compelled to pay huge fees for their children to study in foreign schools or private education institutions in order to avoid the pitfalls of the state school and enrol their children in an efficient system.
In this regard, I refer you to the address I gave last year, on the same occasion, in which I laid down the guidelines for the reform of the education system and called for the implementation of the constitutional provisions regarding the Higher Council for Education, Training and Scientific Research.
I call on the government to speed up the adoption of the necessary legal texts relating to the new council.
In the meantime, I have decided to set in motion the Higher Council for Education with its current composition, in accordance with the transitional provisions stated in the Constitution, in order to carry out an evaluation of the achievements of the National Charter for Education and Training ten years after its launch and tackle this major national issue.
I am being frank with you on this issue, dear citizens, because of the responsibility I bear as your leader. I belong to no political party and take part in no election. The only party I proudly belong to, thank God, is Morocco.
To me, all Moroccans are equal. I make no distinction, be it on the basis of social status or affiliation. As far as I am concerned, there is no difference between a bank manager and a person who is unemployed, between a pilot, a farmer and a minister. They all are citizens with the same rights and the same obligations.
Therefore, we need a broad-based, constructive debate on all the major issues of concern to the nation, in order to achieve the tangible results Moroccans are looking forward to. What we do not need are sterile, disgraceful disputes which lead nowhere, except to settling scores, defamation and calumny. Such disputes only make problems more complex, instead of solving them.
Celebrating the anniversary of the glorious Revolution of the King and the People together with my birthday, amid my extended family whose members are you, loyal citizens, is a unique opportunity to show our respect and high esteem for the martyrs of independence and national unity, including first and foremost my revered grandfather His Majesty King Mohammed V, and my venerable father His Majesty King Hassan II. May they rest in peace.
It is also an occasion that should inspire all of us to do more to keep the flame of the renewed revolution of the King and the people alight, with a strong sense of patriotism, in order to achieve further unity, progress and comprehensive development.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.